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The state's COVID-19 public health emergency is officially over

(Gibson City-jm) – Fire investigators continue to search for the cause of yesterday’s fire in downtown Gibson City. 9 fire departments from three counties responded to the blaze that damaged three buildings that housed apartments and businesses. Firefighters were called back out around 7 pm for a rekindle. There’s no word on the cause of the fire or how much damage was done. Officials from the State’s Fire Marshal’s office are investigating. Several additional buildings in the downtown area received smoke damage. WPXN News will continue to update this story on later news casts today


(Springfield-jm) – The state’s COVID-19 public health emergency is officially over. The initial designation, which helped the state access federal assistance and mobilize state resources, was issued in March of 2020. Governor J-B Pritzker says while most aspects like the mask requirement ended some time ago, the emergency declaration kept things like increased SNAP benefits and expanded Medicaid coverage in place…



Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Since the pandemic began, Illinois has seen more than 4 million COVID cases and nearly 37 thousand people have died.


(Springfield-jm) – With Illinois’ ban on certain semi-automatic firearms challenged in the courts, legislators continue advancing other policies impacting gun owners. 

The House passed Senate Bill 218, which will allow for firearms manufacturers to be sued for what policy makers deem deceptive practices. Another measure, House Bill 676, would do several things, including increasing the limits of where people can fire a gun from 300 yards to 1,000 yards from a residential area. House Bill 676 also would require tracking of sales of pre-packaged explosive devices used by farmers and for target practice. Another provision would require police to take possession of firearms in orders of protection, rather than allowing a transfer to someone else with a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card.


(Springfield-jm) – Jurors in federal court in Chicago, convicted the so-called “ComEd Four” in their high-profile political bribery case, finding they worked to corruptly influence former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. Ex-ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, former ComEd lobbyist Mike McClain, retired ComEd executive John Hooker and ex-City Club of Chicago president and former ComEd consultant Jay Doherty were each found guilty of bribery conspiracy, bribery and willfully falsifying the company’s books. Madigan was not charged in this case, but faces a separate racketeering and bribery trial next year alongside McClain.  State Representative Chris Miller of Oakland took to the House floor and addressed the corruption issue in the state of Illinois…



State Representative Chris Miller of Oakland.


(Springfield-jm) – To honor the life and legacy of the late Senator Scott Bennett, State Senator Paul Faraci advanced a measure to name portions of I-74 the "Senator Scott M. Bennett Memorial Highway." Senator Scott Bennett joined the Senate as the unanimous choice to fill the vacancy in the 52nd State Senate District in 2015. Bennett passed away in December.


(Washington-jm) – Markets are anxiously awaiting USDA's first forecasts for the supply and demand situation for crops now being planted. Gary Crawford reports…



(Paxton–jc)  – A Spring Fling, one day shopping event is set for downtown Paxton on Saturday. The venue is inside A Picket Fence Florist.  A Spring Fling Organizer Leslie Ingold says over a dozen vendors will be there from 10am until 2-30pm with gift ideas for mom, grad and more…



A Spring Fling Organizer Leslie Ingold.


(Springfield-jm) – Governor J-B Pritzker declared Thursday Illinois Public Health and Healthcare Hero Day. The designation honors the medical professionals who worked long hours and risked their own health to care for others during the pandemic, says the Governor…



Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Governor Pritzker says we owe healthcare workers our everlasting respect and gratitude and that so many of us owe them our lives.


(Springfield-jm) – With the end of the pandemic-era Title 42 health authority, a surge of foreign nationals entering the state may be a huge financial burden for Illinois taxpayers. Title 42, the COVID-era public health emergency measure, allowed for the quick expulsion of migrants at the border during the pandemic. Tens of thousands of people who have been waiting in Mexico near the U.S. border will now be subject to immigration protocols known as Title 8. This week, the Biden administration finalized a new rule that limits asylum for those who arrive at the border without first applying online. As for health care, Illinois is on its own. The Democratic-led General Assembly passed legislation that provides health care for older migrants, but now there is a bill which would lower the age to 19. A recent report by Health Care and Family Services shows nearly $1 billion will be needed next year to provide taxpayer-subsidized health care for an expected influx of migrants to Illinois. 


(Rantoul–jc)-- Lots of baseball and softball games are set for the Rantoul Sports Complex this weekend. Those with the Rantoul Sports Complex are also set to honor mom’s on Saturday. The complex is hosting a Mother’s Day Social from 11am until 2pm tomorrow says Rantoul Sports Complex Director of Sports Operations Ryan Reid…



Rantoul Sports Complex Director of Sports Operations Ryan Reid


(Minneapolis-jm) – A federal appeals court affirmed the conviction of the leader of an Illinois anti government militia who was sentenced to 53 years in prison for masterminding the 2017 bombing of a Minnesota mosque, an attack that terrified the local Muslim community. A three-judge panel rejected all the legal arguments raised by Emily Claire Hari. Hari is incarcerated at a federal prison in Oklahoma that houses male and female prisoners.


(Rantoul–jc)  When you see some local veterans gathering donations on Wednesday in Rantoul, there is a good reason. The Rantoul Paxton V-F-W Post 67-50 will be at the corner of Route 136 and Route 45 in Rantoul from 6am until 6pm on Wednesday May 17th to help operation costs at the V-F-W. Those driving by are asked to make a donation to help. The group is also accepting donations at 675 North Ohio in Rantoul


(Washington-jm) – U.S. corn exports continue to struggle. Gary Crawford reports…



WPXN Weekend News Notes…


The Iroquois West FFA Plant Sale will take place today from 3:30-6 pm and tomorrow from 10-2.


The Village of Fisher Garage sales take place today and tomorrow.


The Loda American Legion will host their fish and chicken fry this evening from 4-7 pm. Cost is $10 for adults 13 and up, $5 for kids 6-12.


The Rantoul Township High School FFA Plant Sale will take place on Saturday from 9-2.


The Vermilion County Health Department will hold an electronics recycling for Vermilion County residents on Saturday from 9-11 am in the north parking lot of Danville Area Community College.


Paxton IGA will hold a cookout benefiting the Loda American Legion on Saturday from 10-2.


The Rantoul Family Sports Complex will host a Mother’s Day event on Saturday from 11-2.


Parkland College’s Guitar Ensemble and Chamber Singers will perform “Scenes of Spring” on Saturday at 1 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 309 W. Green Street in Urbana.


An Electronic recycling event is set for Paxton on Saturday from 9am until 11am at the Paxton City Buildings, 755 North Railroad. B n H Recycling officials will be there. Some items have a small fee. 

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